The East of England Ambulance Serivce has released examples of some of the idiotic and plain abusive calls they recieve while trying to help medical emergencies.
The majority of people calling 999 know that it’s a vital lifeline and not to be misused – but sadly, many still feel it’s acceptable to turn to 999 at the wrong time or mistreat the call handlers helping them.
In fact, verbal abuse is sad reality for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) staff – and one of these calls has been released today to highlight what they go through when they pick up an emergency call.
In this case, the caller swore at a call handler 15 times in four minutes. He had called about a genuine medical emergency, but directed extremely offensive language at the call handler whilst she tried to establish the exact location of the emergency.
Gary Morgan, Regional Head of Emergency Operations Centres, said: “People often call us in times of distress and deep despair, but that is no excuse for the kind of language we receive from some callers. It is very important that callers listen to the questions they are being asked and answer them clearly, so that we can help them as quickly as possible.”
The Trust is also urging people to treat 999 respectfully and use it only in emergency situations.
In the last few months the East of England Ambulance Service has recieved calls from:
* a woman in Essex who had found a critically ill cat on her property.
* a man in Peterborough who needed assistance with his passport.
* a man in Luton who felt sick after drinking a fizzy drink too quick.
* a man in Cambridgeshire who had been scratched by a cat.
* a woman in Essex who asked for help cleaning her toilet.
* a woman in Norwich who panicked after drinking two energy drinks.
“It is extremely disappointing that people continue to call 999 for inappropriate reasons,” Gary added. “We’d urge them to think twice about calling the emergency ambulance service if it is not a life-threatening or serious medical emergency. We want to help people, and that’s what we’re here to do – but every call we get that isn’t a genuine problem for us is a call which takes away from someone who needs help fast.”